Achilles boss Coote hoping semi-final experience will hold them in good stead against Henley

The Non League Podcast: Front row, left Bury Town chairman Russell Ward and Achilles player/manager

The Non League Podcast: Front row, left Bury Town chairman Russell Ward and Achilles player/manager Andy Coote, right. Mike Bacon, left and Carl Marston are standing at the back Photo: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

Manager Andy Coote says playing in a third CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup Semi-final in as many years gives his Achilles side an advantage, writes Nick Garnham.

Achilles face fellow Touchline SIL Senior Division side Henley Athletic in the last four tomorrow night at Felixstowe & Walton United FC, kick-off 7.45pm.

Coote said: “The lads love this cup – we won the final two years ago and were losing semi-finalists last year – and have now made the semi-final again.

“It is an advantage playing in our third semi-final in three years. Last year we matched Woodbridge for 60 minutes before their fitness told in the last half-an-hour. Losing in the semi-final hurt the lads big time.

“The league was the one we wanted to win last season, after winning the Senior Cup the previous year, so it did soften the blow when we won the league.

“But there is not much bigger prize than playing at Portman Road in front of a big crowd, so I am hoping that we can play well and get to the final again.”

Henley go into the game on the back of a shock 2-1 loss at home to Grundisburgh.

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However, joint manager Sam Behnamnia is confident Henley can progress to the final at Portman Road – just three years after the club lost 2-0 to AFC Hoxne in the Suffolk Junior Cup Final.

He said: “The players know what is at stake on Friday – some of them have played at Portman Road with former clubs and others with Henley in the Junior Cup Final.


“We know we can’t afford to have a drop in our performance against Achilles as they are as ruthless as any team in our league at exploiting any weakness in our side.

“The more experience you have of getting to semi-finals the more it holds you in good stead.

“But we are used to putting pressure on ourselves and this season against Cranes, Achilles, Lakenheath and Bourne Vale we have turned up and shown together as a unit we have the mentality to win big games.

“In a one-off game we are capable of beating anyone, so we are very confident.”